Friday, May 16, 2014

Review of Henry V at Chicago Shakespeare

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Henry V. It was written by William Shakespeare and it was directed by Christopher Luscombe. It was about Henry the Fifth (Harry Judge) and Britain was at war with France. There are these drunkards, basically: Bardolph (Bret Tuomi), Pistol (Greg Vinkler), and Nym (Larry Neumann Jr.). They join the war not for fame but just to steal stuff from the French and the English. These people are Falstaff's friends, but Falstaff has just died. And they used to be Henry the Fifth's friends but they stopped hanging out when he became king. This play is about responsibility and learning how to take responsibility. I think that Shakespeare was glad that the war happened because he felt like the French sucked and they deserved what they got. He thinks that the English are like awesome. I don't really understand any kind of war, but I don't even think they should have had this war. I think the British should have just left them alone. I liked this play. This is the first time I have seen this play. I thought it was going to be just blood and guts all over the stage, but it wasn't. There was comedy too.

Henry was very nice to all of the soldiers (you could tell that by how he went to every soldier and talked to them about the battle and their family and stuff like that) and that is a good thing about him, but what was not a good thing about him was how he fought a war; he did not show any mercy to the other side, not at all, until after they'd already done the horrible thing to the other side. Then he said; "Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry." He is a good king for the British, and he is fair, and I like that about him. I think that he is fair because of how he doesn't pick favorites. When his old drinking buddies rob a church he's not like, "Oh no, these are my friends, don't hurt them." He is like, "You robbed a church; you should be killed." I don't agree about the killing part, but back then that was how you were punished. That was basically like jail back then. He is also fair because he takes the word of people and uses it to be even fairer in a sneakier way. It is fair to be sneaky in this case because they are trying to kill him basically. There are these three conspirators and their names are Scroop (Demetrios Troy), Cambridge (Nicholas Harazin), and Grey (Cody Proctor). And Henry hangs them for being traitors because they were spying for the French. They told him to be hard on other people, so he was hard on them. That is a case where I thought he was a really clever person.

I thought that the Princess Katherine (Laura Rook) did a great job with her French. I really thought that she was French until close to the end when she spoke perfect English as the narrator, but even then I thought she might really be French. I loved the scene where Alice (Sally Wingert), the princess's nanny, was trying to teach her English, but not really succeeding. The part where she said the F-word because her teacher didn't really know how to pronounce foot, was hilarious. I also really liked it when instead of saying the nails, she said niles. And how the elbow the nanny pronounced as d'elbow and the princess pronounced it as bilbow, but then she pronounced it as elbow, but the nanny was like, "d'elbow." Now they are showing that the French are kind of dumb, and I don't really like that. But I liked the scene because I found it very funny. I thought that the scene where Katherine and Henry met was actually I thought a weird scene because of the way he chose his wife. He wanted to marry her at first so he could rule France but then he saw how beautiful she was and was like "Now it is a double score." I thought that method for choosing a wife wasn't very good. But I still wanted them to be happy and not be super angry at each other all the time because it was basically an arranged marriage.

I thought the three drunk robbers-- Pistol, Nym, and Bardolph--were very funny because they were very stupid and the Boy (Kevin Quinn) thought they were stupid too. He was actually smarter than them even though he was only a kid. I liked the story between Pistol and the Hostess (Sally Wingert) and Nym. It was basically like Nym was so much in love with her, but she was already married. And the Hostess seemed like she was happy with the husband she had and wouldn't want a guy who just said "No more!" randomly. I thought that Bardolph seemed like the nicest of all of them, because he just wants to bring everyone together. Pistol is the only one of the friends who actually lives. I think he gets to live because he didn't do the crime, but he is still a bad guy because he is like, "Hey, I am going to kill you if you don't give me this amount of money." Good thing it wasn't just a random guy. It was a guy who was fighting against them, so it wasn't super bad.

I thought that the Dauphin was an awesome character. If you don't know what a Dauphin is, you can learn it from me...Ada Grey! The Dauphin is the French prince. I loved how the Dauphin was talking to his friends about his horse and how he said, "his neigh is like the bidding of a monarch" and he walked off all like he was saying "Boom!" I think that was just the funniest thing ever. I loved that. And it seemed like the Dauphin had a good sense of humor because he sent the English tennis balls and said that they were a rare treasure. It is taken as a big insult, because I think it was a big insult, but it was still funny. I thought it was really funny when the Dauphin and his friends came out in solid gold armor and then after that then the British come out in really drab and dark outfits. That shows the difference between them: the French seem to be so much winning, but then they don't at all.

I loved the costumes (by Mariann S. Verheyen). I thought they all seemed very Middle Ages-y. I liked Princess Katherine's second dress. I think it was very pretty and I want that dress. I liked the pattern a lot and I liked the green because one of my favorite colors is green. I also thought the golden armor was awesome. It seemed like solid gold. I thought the set (by Kevin Depinet) was amazing. I loved when the wall fell down and turned into basically a big battlefield. I thought that all the fight choreography (by Matt Hawkins) was amazing. I felt like the battle was really going on and that it wasn't just a bunch of actors. When they killed the boys that were guarding all the luggage, I felt like, just seriously leave a sword with them or something. A sword, or something to defend them, like a pointed stick. Or someone in the world to guard them, like maybe a mother or something. Or a father. I think both the English and French did something really horrible. One of them killed kids and the other one forgot to leave anyone with the kids.

People who would like this show are people who like crazy funny drunkards, walls that turn into awesome battlefields, and double scores with princesses. People should go and see this show because it is funny, some of the actors are amazing, the fights make you feel like you are actually in the battles, and the costume and sets are amazing.

Photos: Liz Lauren

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